Communities balancing conservation with export opportunities in Papua New Guinea

April 4, 2019

Helping communities balancing economic opportunities and protect their natural environment in Papua New Guinea

For the past four years, the UNDP has been working closely with communities in Pomio District, on the island of East New Britain in Papua New Guinea, to help them pursue economic opportunities to improve livelihoods.This work has been driven by the UNDP’s commitment to support Papua New Guinea protect its incredible biodiversity.

Home to almost 7% of the world’s biodiversity and only 1% of its landmass, this makes Papua New Guinea not only unique, but a custodian of an international public good. 

Communities in Pomio district produce large amounts of cocoa but are isolated lacking access to transport infrastructure. This makes it difficult to supply their products to international markets. 

With the support of the UNDP, an exciting opportunity to export quality cocoa to Japan has opened up for the people of Pomio District and in particular, those in the Tavolo Wildlife Management Area. To make this possible, the UNDP has brokered a partnership with communities, District Authorities and Government under an MOU that presents a way forward to support these communities benefit from this opportunity.

Under this partnership, Government through the Honourable Member for Pomio and Minister for the Public Service, Elias Kapavore will fund UNDP’s support to the value of USD 70,000. In a statement to the media, Minister Kapavore said that this decision reflected Government’s view that the UNDP was a ‘critical partner,’ to both the Government and the communities of Papua New Guinea. 

This funding will compliment UNDP’s current investment of USD 120,000 in this work and ensure we can expand ongoing technical and business training to communities which will aim to improve the supply chain that supports the production and delivery of cocoa to markets in a sustainable way. This support will help ensure communities can balance economic opportunity with protecting their natural environment.